Dum and Dee, brother and sister, mutant and human, survivors of three tragedies; the murder of their father, the death of their mother and the fall of Elysium, the haven for those who society had rejected. Now they are in the care of the Mutant Affairs Council, but the only man who can really help them is Danyael Sabre, alpha empath and the most hated man in America.
Dee is determined to help her brother come to terms with his empathic powers and cure his reticence, but the Mutant Affairs Council has refused to train him, worried that he could become a high level threat like Danyael Sabre. But the Danyael Sabre that Dee remembers is the kindly man who saved them from the assault on Elysium and promised he would help Dum learn to control his powers. Dee is so convinced that Danyael is the key to helping her brother that she is willing to go against a direct order from Seth Copper, the head of the Council. She takes her brother and heads to Anacostia, the gang-crime ridden neighbourhood were Danyael works in a Free Clinic. But Dee has no way of knowing that she has set off a chain reaction that will impact everyone in Washington DC.
Dee is the main protagonist and is a human in her late teens. Her main drive in life is to protect her mutant brother, Dum, from everyone and anything. She knows that without training, Dum will be unable to live a normal(ish) life, and is determined to do whatever it takes to ensure that happens, and that one day her brother will talk again. But Dee has a dream of her own; she wants to go to College. But what she wants for herself will always come second to what she wants for Dum.
Dum has been in a catatonic state ever since Pro-humanists broke into his family’s home and forced him to shoot his father in the head. Dum is a powerful empath, so the guilt of that event has magnified and caused him to become distant and cut-off from everyone, including his sister. But Dum has his own way of communicating, and hopefully with the right help will be able to reach out and touch the world.
Jessica, despite being only 15 years old, is a Council trained alpha telepath. She has a major crush on Dum and is the only friend Dee and Dum have in the Council. Her incredible powers mean she can get away with doing anything, as long as she doesn’t directly disobey the Council’s rules. What she wants to do is help Dee look after Dum, even if that means breaking a few rules along the way.
Other characters include Danyael Sabre, who is central to the whole Double Helix saga story arch, and his star-crossed lover, Zara Itani, the world’s deadliest assassin.
This is a spin-off from the Double Helix saga and follows immediately after the events of Perfect Weapon. The plot moves along at a steady pace, but lacks the action of the main series, which is not to say that there isn’t any action in the book, just not as much as I’ve come to expect from Kerrion. What Kerrion does deliver is a more nuanced story that not only speaks to teenaged angst, but also manages to shed light on another aspect of Danyael Sabre’s scarred psyche. It touches on some darker themes and resolves one of mysteries of the series and provides an opportunity to touch base with the more established characters, making it an essential read for fans of the series, and an interesting entry point for people new to Kerrion’s world of mutants, clones and human derivatives.